Pochettino’s happy for Spurs to stay out of the spotlight ahead of Aston Villa clash
Mauricio Pochettino believes the drama that has engulfed some of Tottenham’s Premier League rivals has helped to keep the spotlight away from White Hart Lane and allowed his side to stay under the radar.
The Lilywhites can move to within one point of the top four if they can secure a home win over basement boys Aston Villa tomorrow night (Monday).
However, the focus is likely to be on the visitors, with Remi Garde set to be unveiled as Villa’s new manager after the sacking of Tim Sherwood last weekend.
It was a similar story when Spurs last played at the Lane, with Jurgen Klopp making his debut as Liverpool boss, while Jose Mourinho’s plight at Chelsea is an ongoing saga that is dominating the headlines.
There was a relatively small group of reporters at Pochettino’s press conference on Friday - and Spurs’ head coach is perfectly happy to be avoiding the limelight.
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He said: “I don’t want to joke about that, but there’s a lot of media interest in Liverpool, with Klopp, Mourinho – a difficult start in the league, it’s never happened with him. It’s different things and maybe for us it’s good.
“We need to give our supporters and the club a very good balance in between inside and outside. I think we’re all happy in the way we manage everything – last season and this season, and we work hard for that, for that to happen.
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“It’s true that a lot of things have happened from the beginning of the season so that maybe the focus is on other places, not here.”
Pochettino’s faith in young players is being rewarded, with Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen, Erik Lamela and Harry Kane all key first-team regulars and all under 24 years old. Meanwhile, 19-year-old Harry Winks and 18-year-old Joshua Onomah have both featured off the bench so far this season.
“Our philosophy is to give the chance to the youngsters if they deserve to play and show they are capable of playing in the Premier League,” said Pochettino.
“It’s important to keep the identity at all clubs and at Tottenham, in this case. A club like Tottenham that invests a lot of money in the academy, and has unbelievable managers in the academy, why not use that?
“We enjoy working with the young players and we enjoy working with the great players, big players, but it’s always about balance.
“Tottenham have the facility to give the chance to the youngsters and we have the facility to bring players in from outside, top players, and the most important thing is to find the right balance.
“I don’t know about the past but in the present and the future we want to keep our young players that become senior players.
“But we don’t just want to keep [all the] players, it’s about keeping the right players – keeping the players that deserve to stay at a big club, [the ones] where the supporters feel proud about these players. It’s always about the right profile and the right balance in the squad. Football is about balance, on the pitch and off the pitch.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs